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In Cuba Educating to Face the Challenges of the World

The Pedagogy 2009 International Conference aimed at exchanging experiences in the solution of education problems and ways to favor regional cooperation began Monday in Havana and runs through Friday.

Cuban Minister of Education Ena Elsa Velázquez spoke at the inauguration and said, “Teachers and education workers must face the challenges of a world torn between technological advances and a thousand-year-old backwardness, between ancient inequities of education for the rich and the poor.”

Addressing an auditorium filled with some 3,000 delegates from 44 countries, including the Minister of Education for Timor L’Este, the Philippines, Nicaragua, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and Belize, Velázquez said that the most valuable treasure of education systems are its teachers.

The Cuban minister of Education spoke of the three hurricanes that wreaked havoc on the island in the last months of 2008. She said that hundreds of schools were destroyed along with hundreds of homes of teachers. “After the disasters, the teachers who could brought the children into their homes were they had set up makeshift classrooms to continue with the school year.”

Velázquez said that despite the suffocating policy of US blockade against Cuba, the island has been able to carry on its successes in Education.

Also present at the opening of Pedagogy 2009 were Vice President Jose Ramon Fernandez; Lazara Mercedes Lopez Acea, member of the Communist Party Central Committee Secretariat; Juan Vela Valdes, minister of Higher Education; Juan Vela Valdés,minister of Higher Education, family members of the Cuban Five; and Álvaro Marchesi Ullasteres, general secretary of the Ibero-American Organizations of States for Education, Science and Culture (OEI).

(Juventud Rebelde)

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